Vitamin D may help treat Crohn’s disease

Vitamin D may help treat Crohn’s disease

According to research published this month in the journal United European Gastroenterology, vitamin D supplementation may help to treat some of the symptoms of Crohn's disease.

People with Crohn's disease suffer from intestinal inflammatory symptoms, like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and fatigue, at intervals throughout their lives. There is currently no cure for the disorder, but the symptoms can be managed in a variety of ways.

Researchers at St. James's Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, recruited 27 patients with Crohn's Disease to take part in a controlled study. Half of them were given 2,000 international units (IU) per day of vitamin D, while the other half were given a placebo. They found that the patients who were given vitamin D experienced reduced inflammation and were able to maintain their intestinal permeability, which, when increased, causes "gut leakiness", one of the signs of clinical relapse in Crohn's.

"This is the first reporting of effects of vitamin D supplementation on intestinal permeability and antimicrobial peptide measures in a CD cohort. Whilst the data requires further confirmation, it broadly supports evidence from previous experimental studies that suggest a role for vitamin D in maintaining intestinal barrier integrity," the authors wrote.

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